Brooklyn Online Retailer To End Deceptive Email Practices
State Attorney General Spitzer today announced an agreement with a Brooklyn-based Internet retailer that will help protect consumers from deceptive email marketing campaigns and change the way the company does business.
The agreement with Cyebye.com, an electronics, bedding, and appliance retail store owned by E.B.A. Wholesale Corp., of 2361 Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, follows an investigation into a email marketing effort conducted in May of 2003. The company sent commercial email messages to more than 10,000 customers with a misleading "From" line that displayed the name "Amazon.Com." This made it appear that the source of the message was Amazon.com, one of the largest Internet retailers. Amazon.com had not given Cyebye.com permission to use its name, and Cyebye.com's email promotion was unrelated to Amazon.
"Consumers are continuing to be overwhelmed with fraudulent or unsolicited commercial email," Spitzer said. "My office is committed to protecting consumers and cleaning up the email marketing industry. This agreement sends the message that fraudulent email will not be tolerated."
The settlement agreement prohibits Cyebye.com from using third parties' names to market, unless the company obtains authority to do so. The company is also required to keep records of all commercial emails during the next two years and provide the Attorney General's office with regular updates of its compliance with the settlement. Cyebye.com must pay $10,000 in penalties to the State of New York.
This agreement is the third time this year in which Spitzer's office has taken action against spammers and other fraudulent email marketers.
In January, the Attorney General's office successfully sued Niagara Falls-based spammer MonsterHut, which had sent more than one half billion unsolicited commercial emails, or spam, while falsely claiming that the consumers had all requested the electronic junk mail. State Supreme Court Justice Lottie Wilkins enjoined MonsterHut from making such misrepresentations and fined the company and two of its executives more than $200,000.
In May Spitzer announced the arrest and indictment of a notorious email marketer Howard Carmack, known as the "Buffalo Spammer" on numerous felony counts stemming from a scheme used by Carmack to send nearly one billion forged spam emails through email accounts opened using stolen identities.
The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Kline of the Attorney General's Internet Bureau.